The Former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has urged the party to cross-examine white dominance in the party’s “brains trust”. She called them “highly disconnected men callously strutting about social media like a law unto themselves”.
Speaking via social media, the 36-year-old resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics raised alarm on the need for the DA to address racial issues in the party. According to her, the party ought to reflect on a culture that isolates black members and leaders.
Commenting on DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s anti-racism pledge, Mazibuko said a good public leader is one who is able to read and understand national mood and interrupt the conversation in a way that is productive and shows leadership”
She further suggested that the DA should reflect on hurtful and inaccurate internal party narratives that presume “white competence”, while labeling black leaders products of the generosity of their white counterparts adding that the party was able to reach where it is now basically because of the many efforts black democrats made in areas that were formally hostile to the party.
“The liberal credentials of former National Party members are never questioned in this way. A political party that entered democracy with 1,7% of the national vote and today sits on 23% is not a party of converts. The racialized ideological name-calling must stop, and real conversations about what it means to be progressive in post-apartheid SA must begin.
“The DA should also reflect on hurtful and inaccurate internal party narratives that presume “white competence”, while labelling black leaders products of the generosity of their white counterparts. It should consider that were it not for the efforts of black, fellow democrats working tirelessly in areas formerly hostile to the DA, the party would be nowhere near 23% today. A new narrative about working together needs to be nurtured in the party,” she wrote.
The DA leader was said to have announced to the crowd that the party would not tolerate any member who happens to be a racist. He added that the party member would therefore be required to sign an anti-racism pledge.
“No DA member must be satisfied until we have fundamentally addressed the structural inequality in our society. We must build a society based on freedom, fairness and opportunity.
“And no DA member must ever turn a blind eye to racism, no matter how subtle or coded. We need to call people out on their behaviour, even when confronting them makes us feel uncomfortable. We have a duty to stand up and speak out for our values,” Maimane said.
Meanwhile, Ms Mazibuko criticized how some DA advisers suggested that “SA’s ‘obsession’ with the politics of race distracts us from ‘real issues’ such as poverty and economic peril …. Any right-thinking progressive would not struggle to understand that the two are inextricably linked,” she wrote. Mazibuko therefore called on South Africans to put aside racial prejudice and look towards facing some hard truths.